YES Prep Public Schools

Abby Carroll’s story at YES Prep reflects a deep-rooted family legacy in education, ignited by her grandfather, Jim Toler. “Despite growing up during the Depression, Jim was one of the few in his family to earn a high school diploma. Inspired by his aunt Eddy, a teacher who supported him through those tough times and eventually had a school named after her, he made a solemn vow to become an educator, a promise he fulfilled with his first job out of school. It was a poignant moment for me when I attended the same high school where he taught and coached,” Abby shared. 

Abby added, “My grandfather's dedication to education didn't end there. Both my Grandpa Jim and his wife Grandma Sally were staunch advocates for local education and their commitment trickled down to their children, including my mom, who played an instrumental role in advocating for the well-being of students and staff in our district. I vividly recall her inclusive gestures, like organizing dinners for coaches' spouses and children on game days, recognizing their integral role in the team." 


Upbringing and strong educational background 

Raised in Dallas with her two older siblings, Abby's upbringing was steeped in a culture of teamwork and community service, hallmarks that she carries into her classroom. Her family’s strong educational background, coupled with the inspirational teachings of her first-grade teacher, Mrs. Peterie, shaped her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher herself. Abby’s academic path led her to Texas A&M University where she specialized in special education, a field that she passionately advocates for, believing in the potential within every student to thrive. 

Joining YES Prep was a natural progression for Abby, aligning with her commitment to educational equity and innovation. She has been a teacher with YES Prep for eight years and is the ninth grade level chair at YES Prep Northbrook High. Since her arrival, she has taken on multiple roles including learning lab teacher and Algebra 1 teacher, where she pioneered the Accelerated Algebra 1 course. Her contributions have been widely recognized, earning her the Teacher of the Year award for the 2022-2023 academic year and inclusion in the inaugural Teacher Advisory Council. 

Master Teacher Designation 

As the Algebra I teacher, she has received the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) Master Designation. TIA is a program that recognizes and rewards top-performing teachers in Texas school districts. Her engagement with the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) has not only underscored her dedication but also elevated her teaching practice, enabling her to remain committed to the classroom despite the challenges. The TIA designation, which acknowledges and compensates teachers for their heightened responsibilities, has been instrumental in Abby's decision to continue nurturing young minds at YES Prep. 

Abby’s tenure and commitment at YES Prep is a testament to the transformative potential of passionate educators. She exemplifies dedication to her students and, through programs like TIA, she enhances her impact while remaining committed to her classroom.  

Building relationships and fostering connection 

Abby's approach to teaching is centered around building strong student relationships and fostering a safe and inclusive space. Inspired by her Northbrook High mentors, Amy Cavanaugh, special education manager, and Katie Tewart, dean of academics, she emphasizes "connection before content." This means prioritizing building a strong classroom community and understanding individual student needs before diving into complex academic material. This may involve incorporating student-led activities, drawing exercises, or simply acknowledging students' passions and interests. By empowering students and fostering a sense of belonging, Abby creates an environment where learning flourishes. 

The impact of a great educator 

Abby's impact extends far beyond the classroom walls. She recounts the story of Allison Molina, witnessing her journey from a driven student to a confident young woman who secured a full ride to Boston University. Allison is a testament to the collective effort of the YES Prep community. Abby's unwavering support, along with the dedication of teachers, families and counselors, helped Allison navigate the college application process and successfully embark on her next chapter. 

Abby has significantly shaped the educational experience at YES Prep through her leadership in organizing spring trips for ninth and tenth graders. Over seven years, she's led trips to various Texas cities, incorporating college tours, cultural explorations and service projects. These trips expose students to new environments and post-secondary opportunities, fostering their academic and personal growth.  

She has raised $36,900 to support these educational journeys, enabling over 700 students to participate in overnight trips. In total, 1,800 students have experienced trips that include visits to 14 different college campuses. The success of these trips is underscored by a consistent waiting list for the overnight experiences, demonstrating their value in expanding students' horizons and inspiring their futures. 

Abby's story is a beacon of inspiration for aspiring educators. It highlights the importance of passion, collaboration and a commitment to building genuine relationships with students. Her dedication to providing access and opportunities for all students reflects the core values of YES Prep and serves as a reminder of the profound impact educators can have on their students' lives. 


About Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) 

For educators seeking a dynamic environment where their passion can truly thrive, YES Prep stands as an unparalleled opportunity. With the TIA program as a cornerstone benefit, YES Prep empowers teachers like never before, offering not only the chance to excel in their profession but also the resources to continuously grow and develop. Joining the YES Prep community means becoming part of a network of dedicated professionals committed to transforming education and empowering students to reach their full potential. Together, we can shape the future of education, one classroom at a time.  

If you are ready to make a difference and be part of something truly extraordinary, YES Prep awaits you. Learn more here. 



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